The Government has been in discussion over making a number of changes to the laws regarding younger drivers in an attempt to make Britain’s roads safer.
Under new laws, it could see that younger drivers are;
- Made to spend at least one year learning to drive before taking their actual test.
- Have their ‘probationary’ period extended to three years (instead of the current two).
- Be subject to a curfew.
The inescapable fact is that a fifth of road accidents resulting in death or serious injury involve drivers under the age of 24. Which is a significant proportion, especially considering that younger drivers only account for an eighth of all drivers on the road.
Official statistics show the risk of accidents is significantly raised at night time and, at the meeting, the Association of British Insurers raised the possibility of a curfew for drivers aged 17 to 24.
At the moment, newly qualified drivers can be banned from the road for amassing six – rather than the usual 12 – penalty points. This “probationary period” could be extended from two to three years.
Another idea discussed was limiting the number of passengers young motorists can carry in their car and a zero-alcohol limit.
Currently drivers can take their test as soon as they are 17, but ministers are looking at creating a minimum learning period, possibly of six months or a year, to give them more on-the-road experience.
Learners could also take lessons on motorways.
Anything that will make the road’s safer, and reduce the risk of accident, injury and death is a good thing. Making the learning process cover travel on Motorways in my opinion is essential.
At the end of the day, you only really learn to drive once you’ve passed your test. It’s an entirely different matter when you’re out there on your own and are relying solely on your own judgement.
What this will also mean is that it will (if it works) drive down the cost of insurance for everyone (in theory, but less likely in practice) which at times like these would be a welcome sight.
The average annual insurance premium for a 17 to 18-year-old road-users is more than £1,800. This figure is set to rise every year, as motoring becomes more and more expensive.
Transport ministers and insurance bosses held talks in March on how to improve safety, with a full government green paper outlining possible future legislation to be published later in the spring.